I have always been a "vision" person. I have to know why I am doing what I am doing. Without having a "big picture" of my life, I can easily become sad, confused, and aimless. My husband knows that about every three months I'll say, "where are we going and what are we doing?"
It reminds of the verse that says "without vision, the people perish". I am definitely one of those people. I like to know that what I am doing matters. That it has significance in some way. That I am living life well and intentionally and in a way that I won't regret. I regularly envision myself being about 70 years old and looking back on my life...and having this backward-glance of my life helps me make better decisions as to how I want to spend my time now.
As I have thought about my purpose the past year or so, I have wrestled and questioned and wondered. I live a quiet life and sometimes that is unsettling to me. Sometimes I think I should be doing more or be overseas or something that sounds grand or spiritual. But this quiet life has taught me about faithfulness. To do the right thing when no one is watching. To serve the "least of these"...young ones under my feet. To live my life simply unto the Lord and not unto others or societal standards or internal/external expectations of the church. That He is glorified in my simple acts of service every day. He sees.
But I have also seen that he has placed in my heart two specific purposes for this time in my life. And these two purposes give me the sustainable vision that I need when those seasons of questioning come.
Loving God and Loving Others Through Homemaking and Hospitality.
Homemaking is the platform in which I am called to love...my gentle Savior, my dear husband and four little ones. It's also a place for me to grow and mature as a woman. To explore my creativity. To create beauty and order which grace my family. Homemaking is the most challenging job I can imagine...the myriad of tasks and hats and responsibilities and skills are incredible. And instead of viewing any of that as drudgery, I view it as a really fun challenge. Learning to decorate, sew, cook, plan, celebrate, preserve, nurture, tend, heal, help, transform, manage, delegate, steward... these are amazing and life-worthy tasks. A high calling. Rewarding and fulfilling. I am learning how to do new things all the time and I have never been so satisfied. Embrace your home and you will be embraced by it.
Hospitality is the platform in which I am called to love...my gentle Savior, my neighbor, my small group, the stranger, the acquaintance, the lonely, the discouraged, the seeking. I have always thought of ministry being somewhere else...away from the home and from family. But God has given me a home as a haven-place to bring others in. To love them where they are. To welcome and receive. To offer and to listen. To be myself and to invite others to be themselves. It's not necessarily about grand meals or spotless floors (although I love grand meals and spotless floors :) but about community and connection and authenticity. We reach the world by starting with our neighbor. We can reach the world through having an international student over for a meal. We reach the world by inviting "the world" over for a simple meal.
So when I get my vision panties in a wad, I now come back to these two simple callings. Am I being faithful where I am right here and right now? Am I blooming where I am planted? Am I reaching my fullest potential by loving God and others through my home and hospitality? Am I learning and growing in these areas instead looking for so-called greener pastures?
I love being around people who are passionate about what they do. It's contagious. I want others who are around me to be inspired and encouraged towards living well and intentionally in their callings. And I pray that when we are seventy, we can look into each other's eyes and say "well done, friend!"... knowing that our dear Father in heaven is readying to tell us each that very same thing.
photo by Andrew.